Daubenton’s Bat, Myotis daubentonii
Daubenton’s bat (Myotis daubentonii) is a Eurasian bat that can be found from Britain to the Hokkaido region of Japan, as well as Korea. It prefers a habitat within woodlands and will typically roost near water sources such as canals or rivers. Colonies choose to roost in cellars, caves, tunnels, or mines during the summer, and can also be found hibernating in these areas between the months of September to March or April. This species was named after Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton, a French naturalist.
Daubenton’s bat can reach an average body length between 1.7 and 2.1 inches, a weight of up to .5 ounces, and can have an average wingspan between 9.4 and 10.8 inches. The soft fur of adults is typically silvery grey on the underbelly and greyish brown on the back, while pups, or baby bats, tend to have darker fur covering their bodies. The faces of this bat species are pinkish red and the area around the eyes holds no fur. When disturbed, its short ears will form right angles.
The mating season for Daubenton’s bat occurs in the fall, but females will delay pregnancy until spring. Nursery colonies comprised of forty to eighty female bats are formed during June or July. The pups are able to fly at three weeks of age and are weaned at six to eight weeks of age. This species can live to be twenty-two years of age.
The diet of Daubenton’s bat consists of mayflies, moths, small flies, and midges. The bats hunt around dusk, using echolocation to navigate and detect food. It has been found that a bat that weighs .2 ounces can return to its roost weighing .3 ounces after a hunt. Because this species is declining across much of its range, it has been protected under the Conservation Regulations of 1994, and in 1981, it was among all bat species placed under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act in Britain. In Germany and Australia, this bat is endangered. However, it is thought that its numbers are increasing in many areas. Daubenton’s bat appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.”
Image Caption: Myotis daubentoni – bat – chiroptera. Credit: Gilles San Martin/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)